University of Maryland sees rise in indecent exposure, says UMPD

The University of Maryland has seen a rise in indecent exposures, according to the University of Maryland Police Department.

The increase comes as data reveals lower crime rates on campus compared to previous years.  

The University of Maryland says there have been 17 indecent exposures reported so far this year, with only 9 of those happening on campus. But that number is more than double the amount from last year when there were six reported exposures. 

Investigators believe people may be feeling more empowered to report cases these days.

Right now, it’s not clear who the perpetrators are, whether it’s students or random people from off campus.

Advocates are stressing these indecent exposures are a form of power-based violence, which is when someone tries to control another person to cause harm, and the victim automatically loses power since the suspect typically exposes themselves without the other person’s consent.

"Because this kind of crime doesn’t actually involve any physical attack in any way, it’s easy to downplay how severe these kinds of crimes can be and how much they can affect a victim," said Victoria Stavish, a data reporter for The Diamondback, the university's student-run newspaper, who first reported this story.

If this happens to you, police say the best thing to do is get away to a safe location and not engage with the person exposing themselves.